NIAMEY, Niger (May 17, 2023) – Today, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou joined the United States Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Vice President of Compact Operations, Cameron Alford, and the interim U.S. Chargé d’affaires to Niger, Ronald Perkel, to open the rehabilitated Route National 7 (RN 7) road for travel.
“This celebration today represents MCC’s strong partnership with the Government of Niger, and our commitment to improve existing infrastructure to benefit Nigeriens,” said Alford. “Through the rehabilitation of RN 7, Nigeriens will be able to drive from Dosso to Gaya within two hours, saving at least 4 hours of travel time. This will reduce the financial and time costs of transporting goods— improving market access and increasing incomes for all.”
The rehabilitation of the 83 km (52 miles) section of RN 7 from Dosso to Bella II is a part of the Roads for Market Access Activity— a project under the $442.6 million Niger Compact which aims to reduce institutional barriers to trade through targeted road network improvements. With the completion of this segment of RN 7, MCC, through its implementing partner MCA-Niger, has rehabilitated approximately 300 kilometers, in total, through the compact program.
To complement the rehabilitation of RN 7, MCC and the Government of Niger are investing in economic opportunities for women living near the road. From learning how to raise chickens or cultivating honey, the women’s economic empowerment program focuses on training women in specialized skillsets that will allow them to participate in local markets using the rehabilitated road.
“Reliable transportation is essential to increasing employment opportunities and growing businesses that will ultimately advance Niger’s economy,” said MCA-Niger (the accountable entity for the Compact) Director Mamane Annou. “I look forward to our continued efforts to maintain this road so that Nigeriens today and in the future can use this road as a part of their daily lives.”
In February 2023, MCC and the Government of Niger launched the GENIS road maintenance initiative. Through this plan, MCC and MCA-Niger will be collaborating with other stakeholders to implement a new performance-based approach to road maintenance, allowing travelers to enjoy the benefits of the reliable road for years to come.
The MCC-Niger compact will conclude in January 2024, but MCC’s engagement with Niger will continue. In December 2022, MCC signed its first regional compact with the Governments of Benin and Niger— a $504 million grant to improve the trade corridor between Cotonou, Benin and Niamey. This regional compact will ensure Niger’s goods can flow faster and more efficiently.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.